Good morning, Birdland!
The Orioles got their first signing of the offseason in just before the ball dropped in Times Square. It’s not the most exciting of names, but it’s something and the move does make sense. The team’s pitching situation is dire, and since they aren’t in a position to sign high-dollar players of make a blockbuster trade, Mike Elias and company have to settle for low risk/moderate reward types.
Kohl Stewart might be part of the O’s opening day rotation. Or maybe he will get revved up in Triple-A Norfolk first. And it’s also possible he struggles to the point that the club cuts him loose sometime in March.
This is a very 2019 Orioles type of signing. That’s not a compliment nor is it meant as a critique necessarily. It is just the reality of the situation that the organization currently finds itself in. If the O’s do make any of major league signings expect them to fall into a similar category.
Links & Notes
Finding Small Bright Spots In 2020 - Birds Watcher
To me, the 2020 season feels like it will have more interesting storylines for the Orioles than 2019 did. We get to see how John Means performs in his sophomore campaign. Austin Hays will be the starting center fielder. Prospects like Ryan Mountcastle, Keegan Akin and Dean Kremer will all be in Baltimore at some point. This team is still likely slated for 100 losses, but they will be some fun losses.
Alex Cobb's healthy return would provide rotation a big boost - Steve Melewski
To be fair, any pitcher with a pulse and something resembling a major league arsenal of offerings would provide a boost to this team as well. But yeah, Alex Cobb would be a huge help to the pitching-starved Orioles.
Justin Mason’s Top 50 Shortstops for 2020 - FanGraphs
For the fantasy players out there, some outlets are beginning to prepare for the upcoming season. This is FanGraphs list of available shortstops. The Orioles do have one entry, Richie Martin at number 46. The longer the O’s go without adding a veteran middle infielder, the more it looks like Martin may actually return to Baltimore in 2020.
How AL Teams Have Addressed Their Weakest Positions Of 2019 - MLB Trade Rumors
If you guessed that the Orioles had done nothing to improve their relief staff, then you win a prize! Unfortunately, the prize is Orioles season tickets for only the 2020 season. I’m so sorry.
Orioles birthdays and history
Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!
Jim Hoey, an O’s pitcher from 2006 to 2007 who may be better known as the player sent to the Twins in exchange for shortstop J.J. Hardy, is 37 years old. Right handed hurler Archie Corbin, an Oriole for 18 games in 1996, is 52. And first baseman Jose Morales, who spent 41 games in Baltimore between ‘81 and ‘82, turns 75.
Not a whole lot of other events have taken place in Birdland on December 30, according to Baseball Reference. So, here is what has happened elsewhere in the world on this day:
1419 - The Battle of La Rochelle in the Hundred Years’ War takes place.
1816 - The Treaty of St. Louis between the United States and united Ottawa, Ojibwa ad Potawatomi tribes is proclaimed.